THE wartime heroics of two Leeton residents are set to be recognised at a special anniversary event in England next year.
Pilot Officer Edward (Ted) Wicky and navigator, Pilot Officer Oswald Mountford, who were 22 and 21 respectively, in February 1945 when they were killed returning home from a mission in Germany.
The pair's mosquito aircraft came down in Horndean, a village in the East Hampshire district of Hampshire in England.
According to a report from The Murrumbidgee Irrigator at the time the men, in their mosquito aircraft, were returning from an attack on enemy railways in East Holland.
Their deaths followed an announcement in the week prior that they had both been decorated with the Distinguished Flying Cross for gallant service.
The newspaper reported their deaths came as a shock not just to their respective families, but also the Leeton community.
Now, a memorial is set to be officially unveiled in their honour in Horndean on the anniversary of their deaths next year.
Christopher Aird is related to Mr Mountford, or "Ossie" as he was known.
He said growing up he heard many stories about the two men.
"My grandmother was his (Ossie's) sister, so she was always telling many stories about him and what happened," Mr Aird said.
"I started to get a bit of an interest into family history and started looking into it a bit more.
"I think it's fantastic this memorial has been built. I've been over there a couple of times and so has members of the family and Ted Wicky's family too.
"It's taken a long time for the memorial to be built. There were some struggles involved."
In fact, a special committee, made up of people who were children at the time in Horndean and witnessed the aftermath of the crash, was set up and they spearheaded the campaign for the memorial to be built.
A newspaper, The News, covering the construction of the memorial reported it is hoped through school talks about Horndean's part in the war, the fate of the two Leeton men and the memorial will help a new generation of village children understand the sacrifices made for them.
Mr Aird said several members of his family, as well as Mr Wicky's, will be heading to England in February to be part of the memorial's official unveiling, which will mark 75 years since the passing of the men.
"It will be pretty special," he said.
"I'm not too sure many people know of their story back in Leeton, so it's good to get it out there."
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